Dem sen: I hope parties can 'work together' on healthcare

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Defense & National Security: War ends, but finger pointing continues Harris presides over Senate passage of bill assisting Americans fleeing Afghanistan Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations MORE (D-Md.) on Monday expressed hope lawmakers could work together on healthcare.

During an interview on CNN's "New Day," Cardin said ObamaCare should be "improved," not repealed.

"Deal with the cost issues, the cost of premiums, the cost of healthcare," he said.

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"I hope Democrats and Republicans can work together in a way that we can provide more coverage to people and better quality coverage at a more affordable cost."

Cardin said Democrats have been trying to talk with Republicans for months to work together on improving the law.

"They weren't interested. This bill came out of nowhere," Cardin said of the Senate GOP's healthcare bill.

"It didn't come out of committee hearings. It didn't come out of any committee markup process. It was the creation of the majority leader, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Hassan launches first ad of reelection bid focusing on veterans' issues MORE." 

Cardin said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not seek any input on the bill from Democrats.

"There's been no effort to bring Democrats into the process," he said.

"And the reason, quite frankly, is that the bus is moving in the wrong direction. They're trying to reduce coverage. We want more people to have affordable, quality coverage."

Senate Republicans last month decided to delay a vote on their healthcare legislation after it became clear the bill lacked the votes for passage.

Trump last week floated the idea of first repealing ObamaCare and replacing it at a later date if Republican senators are unable to pass the current bill.